Detect spy devices
Cyborg Unplug sniffs the air for wireless signatures from devices you've selected to detect, sending you an email alert if it does. It can also optionally and automatically disconnect them (outside US only) from whatever network device they're connected to by
sending specially crafted wireless deauthentication packets
. This stops them from
streaming video, audio and other data to the Internet (or the room next door).
Detected wireless devices currently
include: wearable spy cameras, microphones, Amazon Echo, Dropcam,
small drones/copters and a variety of popular spy devices disguised as familiar
objects (like smoke detectors
Share a VPN over Wi-Fi
At any given time there are a dozen or more computers between you and the website you're visiting, often spanning multiple countries. It's here that tunneling, or route encryption
important, with Virtual Private Networking
the popular choice among information security professionals.
Cyborg Unplug makes using a VPN easy, with no need for an extra software download or install on your laptop, phone or tablet. Simply connect your Cyborg Unplug to the Internet, load in an OpenVPN file (ends with
) and all devices connected wired or wirelessly to Cyborg Unplug
can enjoy the privacy of encrypted Internet traffic, locking out spies along the route. Use services like Mullvad
, VPN Book
or your organisation's own VPN.
Alternatively, use the Cyborg Unplug free VPN service (Premium models only) routed through Germany, built with special 'sheathing' technology to traverse firewalls (including the 'Great Firewall of China') undetected.
A classroom, organisation, family abroad or seminar group can all enjoy
a secure, encrypted tunnel over the border and to the Internet, merely by wirelessly connecting
to a Cyborg Unplug in VPN mode
Share a USB stick over Wi-Fi
This feature does away with the need for using services like DropBox in
classroom situations, making it quick and easy to privately share files between
Not only is it saner that sending files around the globe when you're all in the
same room, it has a significantly lower carbon footprint. More so, it's offline
- no Internet connection is required. Just plug in a USB stick and share the
Support the cause
Stop the cyborgs
was founded in response to the combination of wearable
technology with ‘big data’. The aim of the movement is to stop a future in which
privacy is impossible and where the iron cage of surveillance and control
pervades every aspect of life. Add a donation using the pre-order interface
to help keep Stop the Cyborgs running.
Electronic Frontier Foundation
is the leading nonprofit organization defending
civil liberties in the digital world. Founded in 1990, EFF champions user
privacy, free expression, and innovation through impact litigation, policy
analysis, grassroots activism, and technology development. Add a donation using
the pre-order interface to help keep the EFF running.
is an organisation dedicated to the use of
information in activism. They work hard to advance the skills, tools and
techniques of human rights advocates, empowering them to use information and
communications to help marginalised communities understand and effect
progressive social, environmental and political change. Add a donation using the
pre-order interface to help keep Tactical Tech running.
OpenWrt is the giant on whose shoulders Cyborg Unplug stands; a finely crafted
Free and Open Source toolkit for building high quality GNU/Linux firmware for a
vast array of wireless router hardware. Without OpenWrt, Cyborg Unplug would be
very expensive and difficult to develop. Add a donation using the pre-order
interface to help the OpenWrt team with their running costs.
Frequently asked questions
+ How does it work?
Every wireless (WiFi) device has a unique hardware signature assigned to it by
the manufacturer. These signatures are broadcast by wireless devices as they probe
for, connect to and use wireless networks.
Cyborg Unplug sniffs the air for these signatures, looking for devices its owner
has selected to ban. If a device selected to be banned is
discovered, an alarm is triggered (LED, and email). Further, if that device is found to be connected to a
network that Cyborg Unplug is trained to guard, an optional stream of special
'de-authentication' signals (packets) are sent to disconnect it*. It does this
automatically without any interaction required from its owner.
* Non-US model only
+ Is this legal?
Those in the US, please see the next FAQ entry, below
It is perfectly legal to block any device you choose from a wireless network you own and/or administer.
Many wireless routers allow an administrator to create blacklists,
although generally they are limited to specific devices rather than an entire
Cyborg Unplug is just as legal, differing only in that it takes a
'direct action' approach to wireless defense: a detect and optional disconnect routine,
alarm system and an automatically updated list of devices able to be banned.
NOTE: Detecting and
disconnecting devices you prohibit from using your network using Cyborg Unplug
is known as Territory Mode, and is the recommended mode for using the
device. Disconnecting devices from using networks that are not yours (All
Out Mode) may not be legal in your jurisdiction however. Please be sure
you are aware of local legal restrictions and the risks involved and understand
that we take no responsibility for your choice to use this mode.
A screwdriver can be used as a weapon and it can also be used to fix your stereo; if Cyborg Unplug
is used irresponsibly, to cause undue harm of any sort, it's no responsibility of ours!
+ Why no disconnection feature for the US model?
Until recently, a 'jammer' anywhere in the world was classed as
a device which indiscriminately disrupts communications within a given (radio)
band by flooding it with noise. Cyborg Unplug
does not do this. Rather it selectively targets specific devices selected by
the owner and leaves the rest alone.
However, even though we use FCC
approved router hardware, 2015 changes to FCC regulation in the US appear to
class jamming as any intentional
disruption to a network service done
by a civilian, even if it's your own hardware. For this reason, after months of
legal consultation, it appears we cannot legally ship Cyborg Unplug with the
disconnection feature to US customers without great risk to ourselves.
Please note that when we started this project,
this was not the case. Note also that this restriction does not legally apply
to our free and open
firmware release, installed onto alternative router hardware you already own.
NOTE: Should the law change at a later date, it will be trivial for US citizens to upload and run the
firmware version with the disconnection feature on the existing device; the difference
is only in the code.
+ Does it shut down spy devices entirely?
It doesn't and it can't. It only stops them streaming what they record to a
device or service on the Internet (Skype running on a laptop or a cloud
service). Sadly, this is the case for most wireless devices used for surveillance;
streaming to a machine on the Internet or in a nearby room allows for remote backups and
surveillance while ensuring the offending device contains no evidence (files) of the abuse.
Both our research and the market itself shows that that spies don't want to be getting up on ladders swapping out
SD cards every few hours from a device in the target's room. This is why WiFi spy devices are rapidly replacing the 'record on board' devices of yesterday. Check out the public market for WiFi cameras disguised as smoke detectors
to get a sense of the scale of the problem, applied to just one familiar-looking object.
+ Why not just password protect my wifi?
Cyborg Unplug isn't designed for use in those cases where
there is already strict control over who uses the local wireless network. Rather, it's
for those with networks used by many people (school, office, library, bar, cafe)
that either give out the password or provide an open network.
Wireless devices used to spy and stream images/video/audio/data to the Internet using that network
(Territory Mode) or via any network (All Out Mode, which
includes tethered connections to phones) will be detected. An alarm is then
signalled and the detected device is disconnected by Cyborg
Unplug (please see CAN IT BE USED TO DISCONNECT DEVICES FROM ANY NETWORK? below for
Importantly, no encryption of any kind is a hindrance to the detection
and disconnection of wireless (WiFi and Bluetooth) devices by Cyborg Unplug:
it operates at a level below the IP network (specifically at Layer 2 of the OSI stack).
+ What if I want to allow drones but block hidden cameras?
Naturally there are many reasons you'd like to allow some
devices while disallowing others. You may for instance own a
Google Glass but want to detect and disallow spy cameras hidden in
clothing or objects, like wrist watches and smoke detectors.
Cyborg Unplug has no bias: its owner selects the devices to disconnect, leaving
others to freely connect and use your network.
+ Can it be used to disconnect devices on any network (non-US model)?
In short yes. But be sure to read on to understand the implications...
Disconnecting devices from using networks that are not yours (All Out Mode) may not be
legal in your jurisdiction however. As such this mode is not generally recommended.
Please be sure you are aware of local legal restrictions and the risks involved and understand
that we take no responsibility for your choice to use this mode.
Cyborg Unplug can be operated in two modes. The recommended mode is Territory Mode,
disconnecting target devices from selected network(s) owned and operated
by the user.
+ What about device updates?
If your Cyborg Unplug is connected to the Internet (via an Ethernet cable to
your router) it will and securely (over an end-to-end encrypted VPN connection) download lists of
wireless devices known to be used to threaten your privacy soon after they hit
the market. This means that as detectable hardware addresses
change, your Cyborg Unplug will automatically become aware of them.
Any improvements to software will also be pushed to the device, with a notification sent by email.
+ Wouldn't changing the hardware address fool the Unplug?
Yes it would. For this to happen however the device used for spying would have
to be 'rooted' or running alternative firmware. This is not only often very
difficult (in some cases practically impossible on tiny embedded
devices), it's also something hardware manufacturers generally discourage, voiding
warranty. As such we consider altered hardware addresses to be a fringe case.
+ What about spy devices tethered by bluetooth?
We're currently looking into sniffing and breaking Bluetooth
connections with the same degree of accuracy as connections using WiFi.
This would be made possible on Cyborg Unplug with the purchase of an additional Bluetooth USB dongle.
Please note that detecting and disconnecting select Bluetooth
devices may not be legal within your jurisdiction.
+ Where do you ship to?
We ship just about anywhere. Please note we only initially have options US plug
fixtures now. An EU adaptor is shipped with the device.
+ Is this an open source project?
The software part is indeed, built atop OpenWrt
. Free and Open Source.
The code has been made publicly available under the
GNU General Public License
A firmware download has been made available such that the
more intrepid person can flash it onto a select range of compatible hardware
The hardware part of Little Snipper is a RAMIPS 5350f board sourced in Shenzhen, China,
(like almost every wireless router sold), tested for
quality and heavily audited for security. Only our firmware and an audited open source bootloader runs
on the device. With high volumes of sales we may move to an entirely open source, self-designed board in future.
+ How did this project start?
Cyborg Unplug launched on September 30, 2014, hot on the heels of
, a script written by
to detect and disconnect Google's Glass devices. Following broad coverage in the press, the
script struck a chord with many all over the world that felt either
frustrated or threatened by the growing abuse of covert, camera-enabled
computer technology. The call was clear: build it into a device and we'll buy it.
Julian Oliver - Project Lead, Developer.
Crystelle V - Project management, Communication.
Brennan Novak - UI/UX Developer.
Would you like a refund or to know about the status of your order? Press requests or feedback? Write to us here. We'll be happy to help.
"Privacy is the power to selectively reveal oneself to the world"